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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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‘Transgender community possesses untapped potential, skills’

The transgenders of Pakistan are a disempowered community that is often treated with violence and brutality. In 2018, a bill was passed — known as the transgender act — giving transgender people the right to choose their identity and to be registered with all government departments. However, during the period of 2015-2018, over 62 transgenders were killed, and thousands more faced discrimination in various forms. This was the message conveyed by the participants of a seminar on the current situation of the transgender community in Pakistan, which was organized by TICK Society (TICKS) at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) in Lahore. During the seminar, activists and organizations working with transgenders shared their experiences with the attendees. The aim of the meeting was to teach the community how to sustain themselves through digital platforms, such as freelancing, and how this could benefit the employment opportunities for transgender people. Aiza Maliq, an activist, said that the transgender community in Pakistan has a lot of potential but unfortunately, their skills are not being utilized. “Gurus take care of them and help them to make a living through different ways, such as wedding dances,” she said, noting that approximately 500,000 transgenders rely on wedding dances to make a living. Maliq added that it is a great sorrow that transgenders are often rejected by society as they simply want to live their lives like any other person. According to a survey, transgenders have been found to possess various talents, such as singing, cooking, and jewelry making.

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